Estimating the number of people with political agency
Why democracy isn't real and can't be real with this gene pool, according to the data
Robert Michels, in his famous text Political Parties, gave five main reasons for the Iron Law of Oligarchy: the physical limits of communications, the necessity of oligarchism for the martial fitness of an organization, the necessity of professional management, the ambitious and Machiavellian tendencies of leaders, and the apathy of the masses. While his book was a great work for its time, it falls short of modern scientific standards. Luckily, we have over 100 years worth of social science data and psychometric theory which can serve to scientifically verify, or falsify, Michels’ hypotheses. This post will focus on the apathy of the masses. Below, we will perform a careful review of existing scientific literature. We find that the fifth pillar of the Iron Law of Oligarchy is supported by a broad range of existing data.